Tested and Perfected by Food and Wine
Sweet Coppa and Pepper Panini
© Quentin Bacon

Sweet Coppa and Pepper Panini

  • FAST

According to Jason Denton, owner of the Italian wine bar 'ino, the secret to perfect panini is not overcooking the bread, which makes it too brittle. He recommends using a sandwich press or following the method here.

  1. One 1-pound ciabatta loaf or 4 large ciabatta rolls or eight 1/2-inch-thick slices of sourdough bread
  2. 24 thin slices of coppa or soppressata (about 6 ounces)
  3. 4 pickled hot cherry peppers—stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced
  4. 32 small arugula leaves
  5. 8 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  6. Balsamic vinegar, for drizzling
  7. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  1. Cut the ciabatta crosswise into 4 even pieces. Cut off a very thin layer from the top and bottom crusts. Halve each ciabatta horizontally; arrange 6 coppa slices on the bottom half of each sandwich, then top with 1 sliced cherry pepper and the arugula. Drizzle a little oil and vinegar over the arugula and season with salt and pepper. Close the sandwiches.
  2. Heat 4 teaspoons of olive oil in each of 2 large cast-iron skillets. Add 2 of the sandwiches to each skillet and weight them down with a smaller cast-iron skillet or other heavy pan. Cook over moderately high heat until browned and crisp, 2 minutes per side. Cut the panini in half and serve hot.